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The Russian invasion of Ukraine is not the quick victory as anticipated by Vladimir Putin and Kremlin officials. Despite the superior numbers and technology, including the convoy of trucks, the Russian military faces fierce resistance from the Ukrainian military. Desperate times call for desperate measures. The Russian military took this to the extreme by using wood logs for armor on the front of convoy trucks.

Why are Russian military trucks using wood logs for armor? 

Russian military truck with branches, highlighting use of wood logs for armor for the invasion of Ukraine
Russian military truck | Stringer/AFP via Getty Images

The Russian military features advanced military equipment and weaponry — far more advanced than the Ukrainian military. With this in mind, the decision to use wood logs on convoy trucks is all the more surprising. 

As reported by Interesting Engineering, “Russian convoys navigating hostile and dangerous territory in Ukraine” are fortifying their trucks with wood logs. They use the logs in order to survive the greater than expected Ukrainian attacks. 

Wood logs with ‘V’ markings on Russian military trucks

Interesting Engineering reported on the wood logs following a recent tweet by the cohost and editor of TheOsintBunker. The tweet shows “images of Russian KAMAZ trucks showcasing several logs strategically placed on the front bumpers of the vehicles to protect them against incoming attacks.” The logs have the unique “V” markings that are on many of the “Russian vehicles in the sector.” 

The Russian military likely cut the logs from trees behind the convoy trucks. We can’t say for certain why the engineers chose to use wood logs for fortification, for no media outlet spoke with them. However, the wood logs probably help “protect the trucks’ radiators from small arms fires.”

The Russian trucks are deep into Ukrainian territory and face resulting challenges of resupply and modifications. Therefore, it might be difficult for the trucks to be effectively armored. Also, with the heavy Ukrainian resistance, the Russian military might have no choice but to resort to desperate measures. If the engines of the trucks “overheat or shut down,” the trucks could be “an open target for Ukrainian ambushes. In addition to the wood logs, some of the trucks “added junk metal” for armor. 

Russian military has a shortage of military trucks in Ukraine

Along with the greater-than-expected Ukrainian resistance, another reason for the stalling of the Russian invasion is the shortage of military trucks. Much attention is on the sophistication of Russian weaponry. However, a key factor for the invasion is the ability to transport troops and supplies to front lines. 

As detailed by i News, it appears that Russia underestimated the number of trucks needed for the invasion. The problem has been further exacerbated by the many trucks that were damaged and destroyed.

Phillips O’Brien, a professor of strategic studies at the University of St. Andrews, stated, “So they have certain very fancy pieces of equipment, what they lack is the ability to operate the complex operations needed to [utilize] those.” He continued, “Hypersonic missiles and Su-34 bombers — we get very excited by those. But that doesn’t matter if you don’t have complex systems in place to supply, to operate, and to fight the real detail of war.”

The convoy trucks carry a wide range of things to ground troops, including more troops, equipment, food, and water. In the Twitter photos, the trucks “seem to be carrying PMP pontoon bridge” parts. Due to the importance of these elements for the Russian invasion, the convoy trucks are some of the most frequent targets of Ukrainian ambushes. 


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